Meet Demetria Miles-McDonald, 2020 Most Admired Woman — Business Owner
2020 MOST ADMIRED WOMAN — BUSINESS OWNER
Founder and CEO of Decide Diversity
Spouse: Doren McDonald Jr.; expecting first child in August
Although Demetria Miles-McDonald’s normal work base is home, most of her connections are done in person, and she gets to know the people in the organizations she works with, so the COVID-19 situation has made her job more difficult. She likes to see the interactions among people in the groups that she addresses, and it has been hard to convey training messages over the computer or the phone.
WHAT IS DECIDE DIVERSITY’S MISSION?
Founded in 2016, Decide Diversity is a training and consulting organization that focuses on diversity, equity, and inclusion. I work with nonprofit and for-profit organizations who want to diversify their employee base and conduct assessments that uncover problems that leaders may not be aware of and come up with solutions which benefit everyone.
HOW DO YOU KEEP YOUR SPIRITS UP?
In times of uncertainty I ask myself, ‘What do I need to do next? What can I do right now to move me one step closer to what I want to be?’ and build from that.
WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO START DECIDE DIVERSITY?
I was tired of seeing the inequalities and opportunities that were denied to people who look like me. How could I become the CEO of a company if the leaders didn’t recognize the obstacles I face in reaching that position because of my identity? I hope to educate leaders about the obstacles people of color, women, those with disabilities, and members of the LGBTQ community face and experiences they have in general.
HOW DO YOU SHOW GRATITUDE?
Every day I write down three things I am grateful for. I take quiet time to reflect on and appreciate and recognize the people in my life who were influential — the mentors and supporters who helped me achieve what I have. Now I am in a position to help those coming up behind me and make myself available and share my lessons with them. I volunteer for the Urban League and lead resume-writing workshops there every other Friday.
I HAVE TOO MANY…
Writing tools — pens, journals, planners. I love writing for the love of writing.
Procrastination in myself and others.
Communication. I can communicate something in a way that draws people in and doesn’t turn them away. They feel included in the solution and also recognize their part in the problem.
Demetria attended the 2016 Women Leaders Conference as a student for free and thanked the conference organizer for letting her attend. The organizer then asked her to go to the stage to share her thoughts with the audience. Submitted photo.
INTROVERT OR EXTROVERT?
A little bit of both. I love being in groups and seeing how people interact and speaking in front of people, but then I love to come home and put on my favorite show and relax. My guilty pleasure is watching Real Housewives and the messiness of it all.
TRAIT YOU LIKE LEAST IN YOURSELF?
Imposter syndrome. No matter the education, awards, or recognition that I have received, I still hear a voice asking ‘who am I to do this?’ I have to tackle that every day.
TRAIT YOU LIKE LEAST IN OTHERS?
Not being open-minded.
I love to relax at the beach and enjoy the vastness and beauty of the sky and the ocean coming together. But I also enjoy exploring new environments and cultures and learning from them, and I am very intentional about that.
P.S. Read more about the 2020 Most Admired Woman winners.